Published on January 4th, 2020 | by Isabelle Karamooz, Founder of FQM0
An interview with Elisabeth Holder Raberin, Co-President of Ladurée, the famed pastry boutique
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Courageous, Tenacious and French
How would you describe Ladurée in three words?
Authenticity, Know-How and Parisian
Ladurée is more than 150 years old. What’s important to you about the history and it being a family business? What’s important about modernizing it?
It is magical to have a brand with such a DNA and to move forward the centuries, improving every detail to still exist in 150 years. And about being a family business, what can I say, this is my lifestyle, I don’t know anything else.
Where did the name Ladurée come from? What was your family’s relationship to the original Ladurée?
Ladurée was a family and they have installed the 1st tearoom in Paris. We met the 3rd generation as we use to go there every Saturday for lunch. Once they came to ask an advice to my Dad as they wanted to sell… and what could be a better opportunity that a baker in the food business since 5th generation! They worked with us for 7 years. It is a really a nice story about confidence and transmission.
What is the origin of the macaron?
It is an Italian pastry from the 1800s.
The macaron is truly back en vogue – so what makes for the perfect macaron?
Years of experience, the best ingredients and some time.
How does your experience working at Hermès prior to your acquisition of Ladurée help you in the culinary world? What are some of the similarities and differences between the food and fashion industries?
I loved working at Hermès, it is a true love story. My experience helps me every day. I learned the sense of the detail, the perfectionism, the respect of the products, that the craftmen are truly the heart of the maison (versus the pastry chef at Ladurée) and working with a family.
Did you ever receive any stellar business advice?
My father always says “ nothing resist to tenacity!” And one that I love to give to my intern that I heard from someone at Hermès “when you’ll a lot you could speak a little ”
You work closely with your husband, Pierre-Antoine Raberin, and brother, David Holder—how is that dynamic?
And my parents, and my other brother Maxime… Business & Family is only one, it never stops, but at the same time I never miss my family!
What’s been the easiest part and the most unexpected part about growing the business?
Growing a business is a challenge every day, but a very exciting & interesting challenge
Can you share any fun facts about the Ladurée macaron?
When we opened in New York I wanted a specific flavor to pay tribute to the New Yorker, it was a raisin-cinnamon flavor. It was a failure in New York and a success in Paris!
Can you talk about your box collaborations? People collect them. I collect them.
We were the first ones to partner with fashion designer. It was about 20 years ago. And yes we have some collectors worldwide and the stories are amazing about the boxes, some client send photos of the boxes in tehir kitchen, closet, babies room, office…They really have a 2nd life.
Style runs in the family… How does your personal decorating style relate to the design of the shops? Where do you love shopping for decor?
I love going to the Puces de St Ouen (flea market) in Paris and some galleries. My style is modern and colorful in New York, and very 60’s in my home at the countryside.
How important is the American market to the expansion of the Ladurée brand? Any plans to launch Ladurée in other locations than the ones you already have (New York, Los Angeles, D.C. and Miami) in the United States?
The e-commerce is the next step, this a big (virtual) store to manage!
What are your personal favorite pastry, macaron, and savory items at Ladurée?
The new vegan vanilla millefeuille, the Rose macaron and the Californian salad Matthew Kenney created for us.
Can Ladurée macarons be shipped?
Yes of course, you can visit our website https://www.laduree.us